Why do people keep a diary and What is a diary?

Have you ever felt that there are a lot of things in life that you just bottled up within yourself? Always wanted to talk to someone or a secret companion about your life but you are too shy to do so? Want to keep your daily memories safe somewhere but not sure what to do? If you have ever thought about any of these questions, read on to find out why you should keep a diary.


What is a diary?

Diaries are a record of entries that describe your life over a period of time typically on a daily basis. A journal is a place where you can be honest with yourself and jot down your thoughts and reflections from things that happened around you; free from outside judgement and criticism. In a diary, you can record things like your observations, experiences, likes or dislikes, events, adventures and many more. Anything that you wish to record can be written in a diary.

Close up of a young woman writing in a diary while sitting on her bed.

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Why do people keep diaries?

Much more than the love of writing, people keep diaries for various reasons. Here are some:

1. Express Thoughts

Diaries are your secret companion and a place where you can be honest with yourself. You can vent out bottled up emotions and toxic thoughts that stayed with you. There are times you may feel that you cannot be entirely honest with someone. By writing in a diary and treating it as if you are talking to a close friend, your thoughts and secrets stay with you forever.


2. Track Sleep Routine

Starry sky dreamy night sky with clouds and moon.


Sleep is a vital component of human health. Dream journal or sleep journal can be useful to see your sleep pattern, and analyze dreams and nightmares. A sleep journal tracks your rest and finds a sleep pattern namely: monophasic (sleeps once per day), biphasic or sometimes referred to siesta (typically for 8 or so hours a night) or polyphasic (sleeps throughout the day). The amount of sleep a person needs changes with their age. A sleep journal tells you whether you are getting enough rest based on your age and daily activities.

Keeping a daily dream journal can also be an easy and fun way to help you identify recurring patterns, trends and dream symbols, as well as improving your ability to continually remember more dream details, and pointing you towards an aspect of your life that may need some extra attention.


3. Keep Memories Safe

Memories fade with time, thus noting down the things that happened in life could be an excellent way to keep your memories safe. We all have to agree that not all memories are positive, but wouldn’t you have to admit that the negative ones are also the ones that make us stronger as we learn from our past mistakes? Thus, writing down adverse events may not be as bad as we thought.


4. Pen down & Celebrate Achievements

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Having a bucket list within your diary can also be something satisfying to look back on, especially when you have achieved something that you have always wanted. Have you ever had something that you have always wanted, but you know that it will take time to accomplish this dream? You can also track your progress in your diary. This may also help you to reflect on and think about the next step you should take to achieve your goal too!



The Different Types of Diaries

While diaries give you an opportunity to express yourself, you can use them for other purposes as well! Some of them could be:

  1. Travel Diary
  2. Gratitude Journal
  3. Dream Diary
  4. Reflective Journal
  5. Diary for Religion or Prayer Diary
  6. Food / Diet Diary
  7. Health Diary
  8. Work Diary
  9. Academic Diary
  10. Fitness Diary (aka Workout or Exercise Diary)
  11. Audio Diary (aka Spoken Diary)
  12. Creative Writing Diary
  13. Academic Diary


Journey journal and diary software app on Mac and iPhone.


A diary is essentially a space for you to write and document about your daily life. With a reliable diary software like Journey, it can guide you to write any type of diary based on your preference as different types of diaries serve different purposes.

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Journal Basics

Diary Basics

Ideas for Journals

  • 5 Year Journal

    Write one line a day for the next five years.

  • Bible Journal

    A bible journal is one that holds your thoughts and reflections after a religion class and feelings that concerns life.

  • Dream Journal

    Record your dreams on a regular basis and keep track of the dream's themes and patterns.

  • Travel Journal

    Document your adventures, road trips, places that you have visited, and discoveries that you made along the way.

  • Reflective Journal

    A self-reflective journal helps you to create your life with intention.

  • Pregnancy Journal

    Write a personalized experience of your pregnancy journey.

Ideas for Diaries

  • Food Diary

    Keep a log of all your daily meals to ensure a balanced nature diet.

  • Morning Pages

    Streams of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning.

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